5 Ways to Create Lasting Habits
Goal-setting tends to get all the love in the personal development space. There are planners and journals dedicated to checking off the boxes, meeting deadlines, and achieving goals but we fail to talk about the driving force that helps us accomplish them — our habits. Habits are the supporting stars of goal-setting. They are the daily, consistent actions that we take that support and reinforce our goals. While your purpose gives you foundation, your vision gives you direction, and your goals give you focus, habits give you the discipline you need to make it all happen.
You can have your purpose, vision, calling, and goals but your habits will increase your effectiveness, productivity, and the overall chances of achieving your goals. Largely because like your purpose, habits are the foundation that you will build upon. If your intention is to be purposeful, you’ll be successful by cultivating a daily habit of doing something that is purposeful each day. If your intention is to be healthy, you will build that foundation by doing a daily habit that will promote your health and wellbeing. If your goal is to find a life-giving career, you will get into the habit of daily searching for jobs until you accomplish your goal. That is because your habits are the building blocks of your life plan.
They help you develop discipline and take inspired action day in and day out. When you focus on creating disciplined habits, you won’t need to worry about willpower or motivation empowering you (aka your feelings), because you’ve already made the decision to commit to yourself, God, and your goals. Once you’ve made the decision it’s all about showing up every day.
Create habits that align with your goals.
Think about the big picture of who you want to be— your purpose, life’s vision, and goals. What skills need to be cultivated? What habits do you need to develop that will help you accomplish them? Aligning your habits with your goals will push you to keep going because you’ll always have your big picture in mind, which in return will give you the motivation and encouragement to keep pursuing your goals.
Start with a super small habit.
Most people think that their success lies in their motivation or willpower. If they had more of it, they would be in better shape to actually meet their resolutions or goals; but research shows that willpower is actually a myth. Willpower is controlled by the rise and fall of motivation. Similarly to a muscle that is overworked, willpower can be easily exhausted. Therefore, you can’t rely on willpower alone. The key to creating new habits is to practice discipline -- making the decision to commit to your goals and habits despite how you feel.
In addition, you can increase the likelihood of sticking to a new habit by picking one that is easy enough that you don’t need much motivation to do it. For example, if you’re trying to get into the habit of working out 5 days a week, start with one or two days a week then slowly build over time. Make it easy and simple to the point where little motivation is needed to get it done.
Increase your habit in small increments.
Many habits fail due to unrealistic expectations before the habit is even established. Successful, sustainable habits take time to build. Instead of overcommitting or setting high standards out the gate, start small and slow. You don’t have to be successful day one. Start small, gradually building over time. Remember, it’s more about consistency and progress rather than perfection. Over time your discipline will improve, which will make it easier for you to stick to your habit.
Get back on track immediately, when you have a slip-up.
Nobody is perfect. Everybody gets off track from time to time (even the best of us). However, the distinguishing factor between those who accomplish their goals and create lasting habits is their ability to get back on track and get back on track quickly. One of the best ways to make sure that you don’t fall off is to have accountability. Accountability increases the chance of you reaching your goals by 65% (95% if you’re meeting with them regularly). Find a trusted friend, mentor, or hire a coach to encourage you and get you back on the right path to achieving your goals.
Be patient and stick with a pace you can sustain.
Be kind to yourself and have patience. As I get older, I’m realizing how much that life is truly a marathon, so there is no need to rush or stress yourself. Give yourself grace and have a whole lot of patience with yourself by going at a pace you can sustain. Choose to rejoice in your small beginnings and revel at the beginning of your journey. Remember patience is a practice but is necessary to creating lasting habits and achieving your goals. As you cultivate these habits, remember to start little and build over time. And don’t forget to celebrate the small victories too, that way you can be encouraged and invigorated to finish as strong as you started.
As you set your goals, don’t forget that habits are equally as important. Develop consistency and discipline by creating lasting habits. Think about what habits you can develop to pursue your purpose, calling, and goals. Then create an action plan to make them happen.
One of the best ways to ensure that you’re sticking to your habits is by having accountability. In the Life Designer Coaching Program not only will you have a life map action plan that will support you in your purpose and goals, but you will have the encouragement and accountability to make it happen. Click the button below to learn more about the Life Designer Coaching Program and apply for a complimentary Clarity Session.